About the Workshop
Mutations are the ultimate source of genomic and phenotypic diversity. Such variation withstands the extraordinary capacity of animal species to adapt to distinct habitats and environmental conditions. The impact of genomic variability on species evolution is a matter that has fascinated but also puzzled the scientific community for decades, partly due to technical limitations on the reconstruction and interpretation of entire genomes. With the advent of long-range sequencing and proximity-ligation methods, such as Hi-C, error-free chromosome-resolved genome assemblies are finally at hand. Such technological development, in combination with CRISPR/Cas genome engineering and single-cell approaches, has propelled the field of evolutionary genetics into an unprecedented era of discovery that leverages on massive information about genome sequence and its underlying function. As a result, novel mechanisms of gene regulation are steadily emerging, supporting a transition from a classical gene-centered interpretation, to a multi-component approach that endorses the crucial role of non-coding regulatory sequences, 3D spatial organization or transposable elements in genome function. Thus, the so-called “Genomics Era” represents an ongoing conceptual and technological revolution that is central to understand developmental processes in the context of evolution.
This EMBO Workshop will bring together internationally recognized scientists with distinct, but complementary, expertise in interpreting the effects of genomic variability. The combination of such aspects allows a comprehensive overview that goes from fundamental principles encoded in genomes to their ultimate biological significance on the formation of living, evolving organisms.